Time Out

Health Coach Jillian took a little hiatus last week. You may have noticed…or not…oh, I know you noticed. šŸ˜‰

Well, I recognized that I needed to slow down and take a little extra time for myself to get things done. Sometimes we need to acknowledge that we can’t do it all. I’ve talked a bit about this before.

There are several ways that I take time for myself. I bake, I wander around Whole Foods, and I meditate. Daily.

I’ll be honest. It was a tough thing for me to accept that I had to incorporate meditation into my life. It takes a lot for me to stop and just be when I have a lot of things on my plate. And that, my friends, is exactly why I need to stop and just be, if only for a few minutes each day.

Someone asked me to explain why it’s necessary, and the answer shot out of my mouth faster than I could’ve imagined.

For balance.

I like to think of it this way: when we go go go, we are too far to one extreme, so when something comes along to throw us, we get thrown. If we are balanced, we are much better able to take the challenges in a graceful way.

Here are three great ways to start:

1. Download these apps for your ipad/ipod/smartphone:

  • Relax and Rest. It’s $.99. This has 5, 13, and 24 minute guided meditations.
  • Simply Being. Also $.99. This has 5, 10, 15, and 20 minute guided meditations.

These are great for beginners and can be done any time, including right before bed. (You may not be able to download to your phone initially because it is a large file. If that’s the case, download to your computer or ipad first and then sync them.)

2. Visit themeditationpodcast.com for free guided meditations. Most are over 20 minutes with a few clocking in at 17 minutes and a short meditation for 8 minutes. These meditations are really great.

3. While I recommend doing guided meditations to start, you can also do it on your own. Sit in a quiet spot for any length of time – 5 or 10 minutes is a good start.

  • Pay attention to your breathing. Let thoughts come in, acknowledge them as thoughts, and let them go back out as you refocus on your breathing.
  • Count your breath in as 1 and out as 2.
  • When you breathe in, think RE-. When you breathe out, think -LAX.
  • Repeat mantras to yourself to achieve what it is you want to achieve:
    • If you want to relax, repeat: I am calm, I am here, I have nowhere to be, I have nothing to do
    • If you want to feel more positive about yourself, repeat: I am wonderful, I am strong, I can do anything

A few things to remember…

1.Ā Keep in mind that it will be harder at first and like anything, will get easier with practice. Do not get discouraged. The more you keep up with it, the better you will feel.

2. There is noĀ bad meditation. Just doing it is the important thing. If you have a lot of thoughts, that’s okay.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others. Sure, some people might go into a state of total transcendence. If you can’t, that’s okay. It’s just the practice of stopping and being in the moment that’s important.

4. Don’t have expectations. The important thing is that you take the time for you.

5.Ā Monk-like robes are not required.

Health is not just about what you eat, but also how you treat your soul. All the carrots in the world won’t help you if you’re stressed out and overextended. Have you ever noticed how good someone looks when s/he gets back from vacation? So eat your carrots AND slow down!

Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite thing to do in your downtime?

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